build·​ing | \ ˈbil-diŋ \

Definition of building

1 : a usually roofed and walled structure built for permanent use (as for a dwelling)
2 : the art or business of assembling materials into a structure

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Synonyms for building


edifice, structure

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Examples of building in a Sentence

My office is in that small brick building. We bought the land for building.

Recent Examples on the Web

Scaffolding around new-building skeletons has become an architectural signature of the city, if only a temporary one. Scott Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Once flat and wide on the frontier, Western cityscapes are now rising tall and sleek," 4 Feb. 2019 While these character-building scenes and increased lightheartedness are a step in the right direction, that doesn't mean Discovery has been cured of all its narrative ills. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Season Two Wants You to Forget About Season One," 18 Jan. 2019 One prevalent theme in Lange’s work from this year is that an architecture critic’s job isn’t just about single-building reviews. Curbed, "Critical Eye: A year in review," 20 Dec. 2018 Over the years, answers to their healing emerged in the form of advocacy, school safety, and community-building. Loren Kleinman And Amye Archer, Marie Claire, "I’m a Survivor of Sandy Hook. This Is What The Past Six Years Have Been Like.," 14 Dec. 2018 Also relationship-building between me and the subjects. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 In our minds, Blake and Gwen’s Christmas traditions would look a lot like their mini movie, complete with giant trees, snowman-building contests, and a homemade turkey dinner. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Blake Shelton Just Said the Most Romantic Thing About Girlfriend Gwen Stefani," 27 Nov. 2018 Alas, the momentum kept building: Kirk Miller of Linder NYC used both the Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 runways to pair low-rise bottoms with visible bikini bottoms or undergarments. Anne T. Donahue, Glamour, "Low-Rise Jeans Are Coming Back—And That's OK," 18 Jan. 2019 There's Crashing, which follows the lives of six people living together as property guardians of a hospital that's out of use, exchanging cheap rent and an absurd set of strict rules for keeping the building safe. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "8 TV Shows Like 'Killing Eve' to Binge If You Can't Wait for Season 2," 17 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'building.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of building

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for building

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for building

The first known use of building was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for building



English Language Learners Definition of building

: a structure (such as a house, hospital, school, etc.) with a roof and walls that is used as a place for people to live, work, do activities, store things, etc.
: the act or process of making structures by putting together materials


build·​ing | \ ˈbil-diŋ \

Kids Definition of building

1 : a permanent structure built as a dwelling, shelter, or place for human activities or for storage an office building
2 : the art, work, or business of assembling materials into a structure

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